"I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told." -Mark Twain


The Queen's 75th

My Mother turned 75 the weekend after Thanksgiving. With all the hullabaloo of Thanksgiving and the rush to get out everything Christmas, she thought that we (her family) would just celebrate it quietly.
She could not have been more wrong!
We surprised her with a little shindig on 
the Sunday afternoon after Thanksgiving.
About 100 of her closest friends showed up!
We were ready for the masses.
We had a dessert buffet, along with fruit
and a variety of cheeses, brie and crackers.
My Mother is very, very Irish,
very, very Southern,
and very, very old-school manners. 
My niece, Libby, made the shamrock cookies.
Each of the four granddaughters,
my sister-in-law, my sister and I made all the food....
And enjoyed every minute of it.
The grandsons kept her entertained and
preoccupied until we were ready to spring 
the surprise on her.

My cousin Scott made 75 pieces of fudge, decorated and cut precisely!

 The table was centered with a centerpiece of 75 white and minty green (in honor of her Irish heritage) roses, put together by my sister-in-law the talented florist. 
Besides all the good food, one of the best parts of the birthday bash were the presents.
Obviously, my Mother does not need a single thing, nor 
would we ever expect our guests to bring presents.
We had a better idea.
Along with the invitation, we sent out a little white card.
We asked that instead of big presents, we would like each guest to bring a Christmas ornament that made the guest
think of my Mother.
They were to attach the included card, with an 
explanation of why they chose that ornament.

And would  you believe that with all those people, we did not have a single duplicate ornament?
It was clear that people put a lot of thought into 
picking out their ornament.
She had SO much fun reading the birthday cards
and especially reading the cards attached to each
We also bought a tree for her to hang the ornaments,
and had it handy so that as she opened the ornaments
we hung them.

The day was truly a special 75th.
We had so much fun thinking of ideas that were
a little out of the box.
There is only one problem....
after my Mom took down all her other trees
and Christmas decor
she just can't bear to take down the
"memory tree".
It is still up and she said she reads the little 
notes all the time!
I am linking this with Tablescape Thursday.


  1. Sweet Nina Gay! Such sweet memories of our childhood, growing up across the street. I love the pic of her and Janyce. Typical too. Janyce is laughing and I imagine that Nina Gay is directing someone to a task!
    PS HBD tomorrow

  2. What a wonderful celebration, and how clever you were to make it a surprise! All the food just looked amazingly delicious. I know your mother will remember that birthday forever! Love the ornament idea!

  3. What an amazing tribute to a well-loved mother. The food looks fabulous, and the flowers are spectacular. What a great idea to have the guests bring ornaments. I'm sure your mother will long remember the day her family surprised her with an Irish Shin-dig! If you have time this weekend, stop by www.inandoutmynest.blogspot.com. I've just started a weekly blog party called R & R Weekend for sharing ideas about Rest and Rejuvenating our creative spirits. Anything from writing, reading, tablescaping, sewing, singing, crafting or traveling. I love to read/see what other people do to recharge! Hope you can stop by! Happy blogging. ~CJ

  4. I was sitting in front of your mom when y'all walked into church. She was so surprised. The first thing she asked your dad was, "What'll we do for lunch?"
    LOL. He had the answer.
    "I imagine they have something planned."
    Love you guys!
    And HBD!
    Ps: Your mom is in my small group at Bible study. She's such a sweetheart!

  5. What a wonderful party...and you mother is just beautiful! The food looks luscious and it looks like everyone had a wonderful time, especially your guest of honor!!

  6. oh my gosh, that is a wonderful story and a beautiful day for your mom. it actually brought tears to my eyes, there is nothing like a party for our mom is there? bless her and may she have many more birthdays, bless you for taking the time to cherish her.

  7. Wonderful, thoughtful, fun and loving celebration for your sweet mom! I hope she leaves the tree up year round!!


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